Agricultural Education Program
After fourteen years of civil war in Liberia, the shortage of food in the country cannot be overemphasized. Today, most of the land is lying dormant or it is under-utilized due to lack of capital and technical know-how. About 90% of Liberia's food is imported, and more than 80% of the population still has to depend on food aid. With no crops, seeds or tools, farmers are unable to grow or sell food and families are forced to wander searching for food.
On August 25, 2012, ULICAF entered into a partnership with Hope in the Harvest Missions International (HITHM) to develop an agricultural program for the Liberia International Christian College.
HITHM Mission (Purpose)
HITHM seeks to cultivate Christ’s hope in underdeveloped and impoverished areas of the world through agricultural and personal transformation.
Building on borrowed talent, HITHM seeks to impact attitudes and practices that will promote the economic and social well-being of individuals, from a conviction that a changed life results from a Christ-changed heart.
Introducing Travis & Gina Sheets
Travis (“Trav”) and Gina Sheets will administer the LICC Agricultural Education Program. Both are born Hoosiers who have been married for 19 years. They have lived in Clinton County, IN for 19 years, and over the past decade they have built Purple Rock Farm. Purple Rock is a diversified farm operation that raises all natural pasture poultry, free range laying hens, pasture beef, rainbow trout and a variety of fruit and produce, all for retail sale. Travis and Gina have each run small businesses and served in elected positions.
- Travis Sheets. Trav is a Vincennes University graduate who has a passion for all things living and breathing from plants to animals. He has a caretaker spirit with a lifetime of hands-on experience. For past 7 years, has been a missionary building churches around with World Mission Builders. When stateside (about half the year) Trav manages the Purple Rock Farm, serves as a Clinton County Councilman, raises exotic birds for retail sale, runs a landscaping company, and manages rental properties that he and Gina own.
- Gina Sheets. Gina’s passion is economic development. She has an advanced accreditation by the International Economic Development Council in Economics, and she has spent the past 13 plus years working in the field of economic development (10 on the local level). For the past 3 years, Gina has served as Director of Economic Development for the Indiana State Department of Agriculture.
HITHM’s core values are consistent with those of ULICAF and the LICC. They are:
- Faithfulness. We have to work and carefully look after God’s garden, which He has entrusted to us. (Genesis 2:15)
- Humility. Jesus demonstrated and instructed us to walk in servant leadership. He spent His life fulfilling His Father’s desire for Him, never elevating Himself, but rather humbling Himself and exercising unselfishness. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
- Mercy. As Christians it is our responsibility to be a faithful steward and teacher, so that others can benefit from your understanding. (Luke 12:48b)
- Witness. We witness spiritually by leading people through confession and repentance and thereafter, by faith, to the appointment of Jesus as Lord and Saviour. With this precious gift of salvation we have the right to be called children of God and have our names written in the book of eternal life. (Matthew 28:16-20)
HITHM’s long-term vision is:
- A community of GOD fearing, 100% all in Christ followers in and around Ganta. Those followers who recognize that living a life on Biblical principles is more productive and more substantial than living without Christ.
- Build a beginning agriculture program that in four years steps into a state of the art agriculture education program at LICC.
- There will be diversified Christian farmers growing from LICC around Liberia and bordering countries.
The objectives of the Agricultural Education Program are:
Farming God's Way
Trav and Gina will build the LICC Agricultural Education Curriculum around a proven approach known as “Farming God’s Way.” In this approach, all farming done by hand and based on scripture. Its four pillars are:
- We do not burn the bush back
- We use God’s Blanket to protect the soil from erosion and to decrease evaporative loss
- We do not plow [to prevent] weed germination and … creeping grasses and compacted soil
- We practice rotation to maintain a healthy soil for maximum production levels
How You Can Help or Serve
You can help the people of Liberia by donating to this ministry through your generous contribution and continued partnership. Through the Memorandum of Understanding between ULICAF and HITHM, a number of costs for developing and sustaining the Agricultural Education Program will be shared by both organizations. For example, ULICAF will help build the forthcoming Agricultural Education Center.
Your tax-deductible contributions can be sent to:
P.O. Box 1158
Carmel, IN 46082
ULICAF is a qualified non-profit under IRS 501(c)3.